BY TER STAFFWhile the tickets read “Rain Or Shine” it was hard to imagine that Beyonce’s biggest fans (her “BeyHive”) would see the Lemonade singer take stage in Chicago last night as the rain began to crash down and the thunder roared throughout the crowded stadium of over 50,000. Although Beyonce is certainly one of the biggest, if not the biggest, pop icons in music today, she doesn’t carry the privileged diva reputation that many others below her are known for. Still, with the magnitude of rain, thunder and lighting at 8:30 PM last night, many were unsure if any performer could weather such a storm, or if they could even do so safely. After all, Beyonce doesn’t just stand at a mic stand for two hours under a covered structure, she dominates the stage from stage left to stage right to the catwalk (and everywhere inbetween), all while pulling off some amazing dance moves in some surely uncomfortable heels. The realities of the situation gave doubt to even Beyonce’s abilities.
But before fans even began to ponder whether Beyonce’s forthcoming performance would be rescheduled, or even worse cancelled, fans in Chicago were given a special treat by two huge surprise performances. First up for the night, Chicago rapper (and Jay-Z signee) Vic Mensa took stage as the beehive began to fill the stadium. Although Mensa just performed a couple quick songs for his hometown crowd, it was certainly an unexpected treat. Don’t be surprised if Mensa, or even his friend Chance The Rapper, pay a special visit to fans today for the second Chicago date of The Formation World Tour.
Following the Roc Nation rapper’s surprise performance, ‘No Type’ Atlanta rap duo Rae Sremmurd took stage. Not only do these two have more energy together than your average rapper, they have more energy than your average rapper times ten. Rae Sremmurd performed a number of their fan favorites for Chicago last night, including ‘Throw Some Mo’ and ‘No Flex Zone’ all while running and jumping all throughout the stage. They don’t have moves like Beyonce but Rae Sremmurd should definitely be on your bucket list of rappers to catch live, but don’t worry, you have some time. While many originally wrote these two off as future one-hit wonders, they have already broke through that barrier and will likely have a staple in rap music for years to come.
Not even minutes after the Sremmlife rappers said their goodbyes, the rain went from 0 to 100 and the ponchos came out. Some enjoyed the rain from their seats, some ran to the closest covered areas (including former NBA star and current coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Jason Kidd), but everyone wondered when and if their Queen B would perform. But about an hour later, after the rain began to die down and crew did their best to sweep the rain of the stage, it was time for Beyonce to bless the crowd.
Building the anticipation for her big reveal, a huge 100+ foot video cube began to rotate. 1080 degrees later, Beyonce and her backup dancers took formation and strutted down the stage as the crowd’s screams filled the stadium, of course to her Lemonade record ‘Formation’. The dance routine for ‘Formation’ was on point and gave fans a great glimpse of what to expect for the remainder of the night. And after ‘Formation,’ B wasted no time as she performed her newest single, ‘Sorry’, a track made famous in part due to Jay-Z’s cheating allegations and speculation as to who the hell “Becky with the good hair” (who Jay-Z potentially cheated on Beyonce with) actually is.
Even Becky wouldn’t have good hair for much longer though, because midway through Beyonce’s set, the rain began to pour down. While the rain levels never reached the heights from before Beyonce took stage, the rain was well more than just a light drizzle. Beyonce thanked the Chicago crowd for coming out and spoke to how beautiful the rain was, and she was right. While the weather originally served as a burden to the night, during her performance it added an effect and beauty to the night that other tour dates will not fully experience.
Although other tour dates will not be able to experience the summer rain of Chicago, Illinois, there are many aspects to Beyonce’s world tour that all cities will be able to enjoy. Of course Beyonce plays the majority of her new album Lemonade, with amazing visuals from the project displaying during the night’s intermissions for costume and set changes. And the costume changes… Beyonce is a style icon, and while your average Jane won’t be able to pull off Beyonce’s outfits throughout the night, Beyonce looked gorgeous in each and every outfit that she had put together. And while this is The Formation World Tour, Beyonce performs more than just her new album. Although there were some huge hits left out of the setlist, Beyonce took time to give a number of great performances of her entire catalog. A few favorites included her performances of ‘Drunk In Love’, ‘Baby Boy’ and ‘1 +1’.
Other highlights of the night include a water dance routine during her performance of ‘Freedom’ and cute videos of baby Blue Ivy and reels from Beyonce’s childhood. However it was not the highlights of the night that made the concert so great, it was the sheer fact that Beyonce and her supporting cast delivered song after song for a 30+ song set list. There was never a dull moment in the night and we’re only left wondering if Beyonce is actually human. To deliver such great vocals and to be able to memorize and pull off such intricate dance numbers in practically every song, Beyonce is truly the Queen. Slay Beyonce, Slay.